Things You'll Need
- Leaves and branches
- Ironing board
- Wax paper
Include green and red apples, pomegranates and gourds in an arrangement for added color and interest. Use the bounty of the season. You can purchase glycerin at natural foods stores.
Some web sites mention using antifreeze to preserve leaves and branches, but this is a toxic substance and is not recommended.
When the weather starts to cool off in the fall, you’ll want to spend more time indoors, in front of a roaring fire, perhaps reading a good book with a cup of steaming hot chocolate. As the leaves begin to turn golden yellow, orange and red, they make a splashy display of autumn outside your window. You can invite them indoors by drying leaves and branches for centerpieces and floral displays that will help to make the season as beautiful inside as it is outside. It won’t cost you a penny… Here’s how to do it.
How to Preserve Fall Leaves & Branches for Centerpieces For Free
Collect leaves that appeal to you. Snip off the entire branch if it is especially attractive.
Iron leaves between two sheets of waxed paper, making certain that you do not use steam. When you dry leaves with this method, they dry quickly and you can use them in vases or include them in other arrangements.
Gather grapevines, pine cones, acorns and other fall foliage. They make pretty centerpieces or decorations for your front porch or entryway in baskets or rustic vases.
Put small branches with pine cones attached into vases and baskets. Branches like these are practically dry when you collect them, so there’s no need to dry before using them for decorating.
Dry moist branches and leaves in glycerin and water. Add 1/2 teaspoonful of glycerin to a vase with water, stir and add branches. Wait about a week for the branch to draw the glycerin up into the leaves and then take the branches out of the mixture for your arrangement. In the meantime, the branch in the vase with glycerin makes a nice arrangement on its own.
Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens" and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to "Big Island Weekly," "Ke Ola" magazine and various websites. She earned her Bachelor of Arts at University of California, Santa Barbara and her Master of Arts from San Jose State University.